We founded Boedecker Cellars in 2003 to craft small-production, food-oriented, distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of Oregon's greatest vineyards. By keeping our production levels low, we can lavish our attention on every detail of the winemaking process.
Athena and I made a deal with each other at the beginning that we’d only produce what we loved. This led to the big debate when we were blending our first 20 barrels of Pinot Noir for our 2003 releases. For three weeks we ‘debated’ which barrels made the best blend, but neither of us was happy with the results. Finally, we sent each other off to create the blend we individually liked the best – those two blends were both great, and we realized that rather than compromise on styles, we’d have more honest, better wine if we stayed true to our individual palates. So now, each year, we blind sample through barrels of Pinot Noir, splitting the lots into “Stewart” and “Athena” Willamette Valley bottlings. The Athena Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is generally the bigger, more structured of the two wines, while the Stewart tends towards brighter acid, softer tannins, and more nuanced aromatics.
Since we also buy fruit from up to ten different vineyards each year, we also have the opportunity to highlight how site influences Pinot Noir in Oregon. Each year we select two barrels each of the “best of the best” for our single vineyard designate wines. The choices vary from vintage to vintage, but these wines are always special and really do reflect the uniqueness of the vineyards.
We started in 2003 at 400 cases, way too small for our own place. So, for the first few years, we operated out of a shared space in Carlton, OR. When we finally grew enough to think about our own place, we decided to move our operations back to Portland. We both love the city, and the vineyards are only 40 miles away. We teamed up with Grochau Cellars to create an urban winery in NW Portland, just blocks from hiking trails in Forest Park, and minutes from the Portland Farmers Market and some of the best restaurants in the U.S. It’s great being in the center of the vibrant arts and food culture in Portland. Most importantly, we’ve managed to cut out 10 hours and 500 miles of driving back and forth to the winery out of our lives. More time with the wine, less time on the road, spending time doing what we love.
- Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas
Region: Willamette Valley, OR
Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir "Athena" 2010
Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir "Stewart" 2009
Boedecker Cellars Old Vine Pinot Gris 2009
Boedecker Cellars "Stoller" Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
Boedecker Cellars "Shea" Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009